I’ve always had a fascination and affinity for the name Veronica. As a an Elvis Costello fan, his 1989 single bearing the name is still a favorite of mine. In the Archie Comics universe, I choose her over Betty. In the film Heathers, Winona Ryder played its heroine with the moniker. I also have been heard to say that I love the name because of a cute nickname that can be given to it….Ronnie.
Sadly and too soon, we lost one this week. The one, only and unforgettable Ronnie Spector (born Veronica Bennet in case you weren’t aware).
Now, there have been girl groups over they years. Sure you have The Supremes, The Shirelles and others. However, to most the only one that mattered was The Ronettes. Like the Supreme they were a dynamic threesome. However the similarity ended there. Not only did they have sound and a style of their own. More importantly they had an attitude. No one personfied that more than the woman at the center.
Ronnie Spector was everything the others weren’t . From her beehive hairdo to her mascara she was untouchable. And let’s not forget that voice. Raw, seductive and haunting. And who else could, “Woah Oh” better than her? I’ll wait.
A goddess of rock, right up there with the likes of Janis Joplin, Debbie Harry and Chrissie Hynde. She leaves us with a legacy most would evnvy. Sure, the Ronettes themselves might not have lasted all that long. Ronnie however did, long enough to transcend just about every generation afterwards .
Think about it. From Eddie Money to Joey Ramone even The Ravonettes knew to enough to seek her out. Agian, the voice, the sound. There would never have been a Winehouse if there wasn’t a Spector.
A few years back I was racking my brain to come up with a Christmas gift for my parents. I also was trying to tie it in to their milestone wedding anniversary which they had celebrated months before. I decided to create a collection of songs that would take them through the years of their life together. It was their own personal soundtrack. Where oh where though would I start?
It took a long time, and a Napster account (yes I just dated myself) but I did it. I had got it all put together, but something felt off. Sure, I had amassed enough songs (four decades and two discs worth) to make them proud. Yet still,something just wasn’t right. Then it hit me, “How,” I thought. How should I start it.? Out of all of these tracks, which one would kick this off the right way?
With over twenty cuts, spanning over four decades nothing was working. I couldn’t pin one down. Then came “Baby I Love You” by The Ronettes and everything changed. That wall of sound, that voice, and that “Woah Oh.” What more did I need?